Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Busy Week!

Last week was a busy one for DJ so here are some photos of his activities:

DJ was able to help spin this Kugel Ball at the Science Center. A key principle of Montessori preschool is real life experience and DJ loves any museum where touching is expected!  And of course, anything to do with water ranks up high on the preferred list.

We went to the Zoo again now that we have a membership and this time it didn't rain! One of DJ's favorite exhibits is this shooting water fountain near the penguins. It shoots up much higher than in the picture for a short time and then stops for awhile. DJ is always thrilled when it starts up again.

Remember in this post when I said DJ had zero interest in the Geometric Solids? Well, imagine my surprise when he selected them without prompting and repeated back the names of each of them as I said them. He also placed each of the curved shapes (sphere, ovoid & ellipsoid) onto their bases and he did NOT throw the sphere. Yay. By the way - sorry for the lighting.  The bay window is so bright, it makes any iPhone photo I take seem really dark.  Perhaps someday I'll learn something about photography.

This is also the first time DJ has self-selected the napkin folding. He started out trying to fold the way I've shown him but when he couldn't figure it out, he decided to roll them up like he would his work mat. He was quite proud of himself even though he didn't do what was intended. He'll get there and in the meantime, he's becoming a pro at rolling!

The next day was really warm so he moved outside and practiced pouring water at his water table.  The table is supposed to have an umbrella, but he decided the hole for the umbrella was the perfect place to pour water into.

Knobbed & Knobless Cylinders are still a big hit with DJ. Although I placed the blocks into the square, DJ did all the rest himself. Unfortunately, this is way too big of a job for him and he was completely overwhelmed when it came time to clean up. With some prompting from me, he did get all the colored knobless cylinders back in their boxes and about half of the knobbed cylinders into their slots. But I had to finish; It was just too much for him. I'm not sure how to keep him from getting in over his head with these projects.

DJ also selected the sound cylinders and actually worked with trying to match them! First he found the most quiet one with a red stickers and then checked every other cylinder for the match. It took him awhile because he checked them all - even if they were also from the red set. But when he found it he said, "There it is!" Then he checked the bottoms to see that they were both color coded the same and gave himself a happy "Yay!" Then he went on to find the matching loudest cylinders. A huge step forward for him because he has been able to identify loudest and softest but this is the first time he made matches.

Not pictured, DJ also selected the sandpaper globe to explore on his own. Off the cuff, I asked him "Where do we live?" I've shown him several times but I didn't really expect him to know. I mostly just wanted to put it in his thoughts that he could know if he spent time with the globe. But sure enough, he spun the globe around in his hands with a look of concentration, stopped the globe (upside down) at North America and pointed to our region!! I was dumbfounded! Then he pointed out the window to the west and said "drive to water," since he remembers we're in driving distance of the Pacific Ocean.

Also, not pictured, is storytelling.  DJ's language skills have exploded so much that he's actually able to retell the events of his day.  So with a little prompting each night, he's been telling his dad about his day.  I love to sit downstairs listening to him relay the events and I know his dad loves to be a part of it by hearing the story.  Also, storytelling is an important first step in reading and writing.  I have read that so many children struggle with writing because they aren't able to translate their thoughts into a spoken sentence, let alone then write them onto paper.

Finally, to wrap up this post, a video of a favorite Practical Life activity that DJ completed last week: sorting silverware.  It's a little long, but it has a really fun ending.  Again, I apologize for the black borders, it was taken before I learned to record iPhone videos horizontal instead of upright.


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